THE Blue Bulls turned on the charm to thrash the Pumas 36-10 in the main match of the Coca-Cola under-18 Craven Week at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium yesterday.
The Bulls have been rewarded with a berth in the final of the tournament against the Lions tomorrow.
Hosts Eastern Province, although ranking second behind the Bulls and one place ahead of the Lions, will play KwaZulu-Natal in the main curtain-raiser.
The Pumas took an early lead in the fourth minute via a Brandon Thomson penalty.
But that was short-lived, as Marquit September, Pierre Schoeman and Johan Bannink each scored tries for the Bulls while the accurate Ryno Eksteen converted them all and kicked one penalty to take the Pretoria outfit to a comfortable 22-3 lead at halftime.
The Bulls started the second half as they ended the first and dominated lineouts and scrums while also continuing to turn over opposition ball.
In the 38th minute, George Erasmus cut through the Pumas’ defence to score under the posts. Eksteen converted and then went on to score a try of his own after some good recycling of the ball.
The Bulls’ free-flowing passing and hard-running caused problems for the Pumas side who spent most of the second half on the back foot.
The Pumas eventually touched down with 18 minutes left when flanker Willandre Kotzenberg went over for Thomson to convert.
The momentum shifted back to the Bulls with Thabo Mabuza and Vean Roodt running hard at the opposition.
In other action, Eastern Province Country Districts went down 33-28 to the Griffons in a closely-contested game of two halves.
Western Province ran in six tries to edge South Western Districts 39-33 in a tight game.
Tomorrow’s final fixture are: 9.10 SWD v Boland; 10.40 WP v Pumas; 12.10 EP v KZN; 1.40 Blue Bulls v Lions